In this performance, Shruti Sadolikar takes up Raag Bihari, a typical melody from the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana with a folksy temperament. Accompanying her on the tabla is Vishwanath Shirodker. Murad Ali Khan gives a heart-wrenching performance on the sarangi and Tanmay Deochake is his best self, filling each space with an array of melodious phrases.
The father of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, Ustad Alladiya Khan, is said to have advised his disciples to never sing Raag Bihari in faster compositions. That way, the soul-tugging emotions of this raga steeped in folk flavour can be retained easily.
Sticking to traditions, Sadolikar sings the composition in a medium tempo, expanding the raga with elegant akar vistaars and abstaining from ambitious virtuosity which could otherwise come easily to a voice of her expertise and conditioning. She conservatively deploys only a handful of taans in the end, maintaining a serene mood with mostly long-standing, stable notes making it a delectable offering.
Raag Bihari is a lilting night melody that comes as a pleasant surprise from the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana known mainly for its complex and heavy ragas. This raga deploys all the characteristics of Raag Desh with all notes as suddha or pure. Dha (6th) is omitted in the ascent and used in a convoluted manner (vakra) in the avarohana or descent. The dominant or vadi note is Sa and the sub-dominant or samvadi note is Pa. Because of the convoluted use of Dha, it sounds close to Raag Tilak Kamod.
Shruti Sadolikar (Jaipur-Atrauli gharana)
Vishwanath Shirodker (tabla)
Murad Ali (sarangi)
Tanmay Deochake (harmonium)
Ranjana Ghatak & Shobana Patel (tanpuras)
Raag Bihari, Thaat: Khamaj, Samay: Evening